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Bring Your Own Guillotine


I have nothing else to say about this ad from today’s New York Times.

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  • tsam100
    • BruceFromOhio

      How about the ‘Jump You Fuckers’ cardboard sign? That works, too.

      • tsam100

        Best fucking sign I’ve ever seen, I’m pretty sure.

  • Cervantes

    What is now the “Style” section was previously called the “Living” section. The parody Not the New York Times titled it the “Having” section. That was what, 40 years ago?

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  • raflw

    Can I get a 36 Hours synopsys of the conference afterwards? Y’know, where I should have breakfasted while anticipating the Davos-like atmosphere of the conference rooms, or what anonymously common midrise hotel ballroom had the best semi-famous DJ for the wrap party.

  • Murc

    Good lord, some of those names.

    If I created a fictional plutocrat named “Geoffroy de La Bourdonnaye” my editor would send the manuscript back telling me it was too over the top.

    • jim, some guy in iowa

      did you ever see Arnaud de Borchgrave, from I think the Washington Times, on C-span? He was like that

    • LeeEsq

      Besides that guy, most of the names seem fairly normal for their associated nationality/ethnicity.

    • LeeEsq

      You would then send your editor the NY Times Style selection with a note saying ‘Ha. There. Look at It.”

    • NewishLawyer

      Stella McCarthy is the daughter of Paul and Linda Eastman

    • sonamib

      You know, it’s not entirely random for plutocrats to be named that way. Rich French people love giving their kids names like Charles-Henri, Joséphine and indeed, Geoffroy. As for the fancy last name : nevermind their conspicuous praising of the Republic, French people are fascinated by nobility. Wealthy French families often go out of their way to acquire a noble last name, like the Giscard who became Giscard d’Estaing after digging through their ancestry.

  • McAllen

    I’m not saying this is what’s happening, but if I wanted to gather a bunch of rich dumb assholes together so I could rob/kidnap them, throwing a “luxury conference” seems like a pretty good way to do it.

    • dmsilev

      Wasn’t that the business model of the Fyre Festival?

      • kaydenpat

        Lol!! I wonder what happened with that. Such a huge mess and scam. So hilarious!!

      • N__B

        Also, too, more or less, “The Gutting of Couffignal.”

    • At the very least, this should be a movie

    • Murc

      Wasn’t this literally the plot of at least one episode of Leverage?

      (We miss you Leverage. Come back! The country needs you now more than ever!)

      • medrawt

        I’ll assume you’re following John Rogers on Twitter.

        • Murc

          I’m actually not on any social media platform besides tumblr.

          I read his blog before he abandoned it, tho.

          • medrawt

            He tweets about a bunch of rag type stuff I’m not interested in, but otherwise it’s writing craft stuff, political indignation, and crime snobbery, and increasingly the latter two getting mingled. There’s a lot of “when we pitched [super tame version of something happening right now] for Leverage, the execs thought it was too cartoonish to be true until we showed them the newspaper stories.”

            (Back in the day, he gave me a shout out when I provided that service for his comments section once, offering up links to indicate that the “judge sending people to prison for kickbacks from the private prison company” was WORSE in real life, because in real life the judge was over-sentencing kids, not adults.)

  • Mondfledermaus

    Gold plated guillotine blades? Ferrari Tumbrels?

    • Lizzy L

      I got mine at Tumbrils R Us. Cheap, but it’ll do the job.

      • reattmore

        It used to be, if you were a lord, you qualified for a silk noose.

        • LeeEsq

          Those were the days.

    • iiii

      Laissez le bon tumbrils rouler.

  • dmsilev

    So, what is the in thing for luxury in a turbulent world? Heavily armed yachts straight out of a James Bond film? Architectural services to turn that baronial manor into a curtain-wall keep?

    • Unemployed_Northeastern

      Rumors have it a few Saudi and Russian yachts have missile defense systems and/or anti-photography systems.

      • LeeEsq

        Some of the Saudi yachts also come with an anti-pornography system but those aren’t selling as well.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          A man with a harem _and_ internet pornography gives Ross Douthat a big sad.

    • liberalrob
    • Speaking or which (or something) I guess the next Bond will feature him being outsourced to private interests in order to help MI6 with its budget?

  • keta

    Keep your head, Erik, the luxury goods marketplace is poised for a bounce back:

    After slowing sales amid fears of terrorist attacks, unpredictable stock markets and currency fluctuations that kept many tourists away from cities including Paris, the market will return to growth in 2017, according to the Bain report, the Worldwide Luxury Market Monitor, which was released on Monday. The report estimates a global personal luxury goods market of 254 billion euros to €259 billion ($284 billion to $289 billion) in 2017, assuming constant exchange rates, up 2 percent to 4 percent from €249 billion last year.

    There’s going to be nothing but good news at the conference! To celebrate, the truly extravagant will head to Brussels a week early to catch The Doobie Brothers. “Oh-oh, China Grove!”

    • McAllen

      Keep your head, Erik

      Don’t think Erik’s the one who needs to be worried about losing his head.

      • NewishLawyer

        I will add that people who buy “luxury goods” are not always just the 1 percent or even the 10 percent.

        A few years ago there was an essay by a woman who wrote how her mom always wore nice (even brand) clothing to get respect from government workers or people in general even though the family was poor. This dressing made it possible for the daughter to navigate and excel in the local school system.

        And then there was the guy who was arrested for shopping at Barney’s while black and he saved up the money to buy a Ferragamo belt that cost around 350 dollars.

        Now you can argue that we shouldn’t live in a world where people feel compelled to do this and I agree but it is very different than saying anyone who buys expensive/luxury goods is a member of the 1 percent.

  • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

    William McDonough is a big, big name in sustainable architecture, and inspired my wife’s work in school. Very disappointed to see him contributing to this walking demonstration to the need for black handkerchiefs.

    • Gepap

      Well, as an architect, it sort of makes sense that you have to cater to the folks willing to pay for “new” architecture.

    • When I was an undergrad engineering student at U.Va., McDonough was the brand-new dean of the A-school. Somehow he convinced the “leadership” of my graduating class to donate our class gift towards a photovoltaic system for the roof the the a-school.

      I was reasonably well known on campus and suggested in some public fora (including usenet!) that the a-school building was old and like most buildings on grounds, fabulously inefficient. Some less flashy upgrades would do much more to make the building sustainable than would PV panels. Furthermore, I was not happy that they were considering a simple commercial installation, rather than involving, say, engineers and science students at the university to learn from the design and construction of the system.

      I got a call from the dean’s office that I was being summoned for a meeting with the dean. I naively thought we’d have an interesting conversation about sustainability. What I got was a berating about how I lacked vision, and if I cared about sustainability, I would stop this nonsense meddling. Then he signed a little souvenir copy of one of his speeches, gave it to me, and pushed me out of this office.

      It was an early lesson in power DBery that I’ll never forget. I don’t remember what happened in the end, I think the class gift did go to fun a PV system.

      PS — this was the same genius who seriously suggested that the university’s bus system could practically be replaced by horse-drawn carriages.

      • RangerJay

        Just think of the luxury marketing possibilities for artisanal buggy whips. In a turbulent world, a luxurious, well-made, and stylish buggy whip might prove useful and satisfying — in the hands of the “right” clientèle.

        • Some of this luxury world i find hard to understand. High end art is one and so are watches. Especially the kind that cost as much as a car or house and keep worse time than a 10$ quartz. But of course someone like me would say that

          • NewishLawyer

            I admit I would buy a Wayne Thiebaud or a Richard Diebenkorn if I ever had the opportunity and the means.

            • Had to look those up. Nice. Here’s a question: if you could get some talented artist to paint those for a fraction, would you? I would as a pleb like me would gain some satisfaction from having it on my wall. But perhaps those who truly love art would never do that? (Not withstanding the claims in F for Fake saying that most masterpieces are fakes anyways)

              • NewishLawyer

                No because they wouldn’t be originals. They would be knock offs/forgeries. If I saw an up and coming artist or unknown artist do artwork that I liked, I would certainly pay for that though. I’m not going to commission someone to do the knock-off version though. The deception is no fun and not very honorable.

                • From my view, it would be having the painting, hell have it signed by the artist doing it, but having it for the aesthetics/view would be valuable (YMMV)

          • BiloSagdiyev

            My Picasso keeps only approximate time, no matter how carefully I align the sitck I poked in it under the noon day sun.

            • I expect to see something like this in the next post-apocalyptic art gallery (now there’s an idea) called “after us, the fire: how to survive the understandably angry hordes .”. It will feature Art being used to survive said era. Van Goghs for shields, Koons sculptures as projectile weapons and of course, Picassos to keep time.

        • reattmore

          Just think of the job opportunities for graduate students with shovels

          • BigHank53

            Just think of the recreation possibilities for graduate students with gasoline-soaked truck tires.

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    Small world: In between college and grad school, in 1988 (I think), my wife spent a few months as an au pair in Paris looking after little Antoine and Delphine Arnaud, who were pretty much as awful as you’d imagine they’d be.

    • LeeEsq

      I listened to a bunch of young women talking about their experiences as au pairs on a subway ride home recently. On the plus side, they got to travel to places like Croatia. On the down side, their employers would surprise them with things that they brought in the market like a whole chicken that they wanted cooked for dinner and then make fun of them when things didn’t turn out perfectly.

  • Taylor

    25% of the speakers are from the NYT.

    This confirms everything I’ve suspected about who that rag views as their audience.

    The hacks with their clouds and concerns are just following orders.

    • brad nailer

      Would’ve been nice if they’d been a little more forthcoming about local boy Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.

  • Karen

    The CEO of Coach, Inc, maker of my favorite handbags, is going to be at this thing. Coach really isn’t “luxury” so much as “rather nice upper middle class with a few expensive pieces intended to attract attention from magazine editors.” I can only assume he’s providing the bags for the party favors.

    • Dennis Orphen

      A classic glovetanned cowhide crossbody Coach bag isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity.

    • Linnaeus

      Maybe not luxury, exactly, but Coach definitely markets itself as an upscale brand bordering on luxury.

    • David

      The new term for this is “masstige”. For real, it’s a marketing word.

      • BloodyGranuaile

        Of course it is. >.<

  • Karen

    Also, barely tangential to this, if you find fashion at all interesting, follow Tom and Lorenzo and the Fug Girls on Twitter. Their blogs are pretty vanilla but their Tweets are pure Heaven for anti-Trumpers. Today T & L described their meeting with a foreign agent seeking dirt on the Fug Girls, who replied in amusing kind.

  • Unemployed_Northeastern

    Brussels? Belgium is for poors. Let me know when the conference will be held in Davos, Knightsbridge, or West Palm Beach.

    – typical postnational plutocrat

    • Erik Loomis


      • Unemployed_Northeastern

        Aspen is so 2000’s. Jackson Hole, Banff, or bust.

    • MikeG

      Nice/Monaco. I’ve never seen so many massive yachts.

      • Unemployed_Northeastern

        As a highlight of just how many levels of plutocracy there are, once you get to about the 100 meter / 300 foot length, you are now talking about yachts that cost more than the $250 million Mitt Romney is worth. And the general rule of thumb is that you spend 10% of the purchase price each year between maintenance, fuel, crew, dockage, etc.

        There are dozens and dozens of yachts longer than 100 meters.

        • N__B

          But surprisingly few under one meter.

      • LeeEsq

        I like Nice. Nice is nice.

        • Best part is the old city, IMO. Far away from the yachts

        • sonamib

          The city itself is nice, but it’s a terrible place for a beach vacation (which is why it’s full of Brits, they don’t know any better).

    • JMP

      Too pedestrian; it should be in Svenborgia, the country in Europe only rich people know about.

      • Unemployed_Northeastern

        Fantastic 30 Rock reference!

    • sonamib

      Brussels? Belgium is for poors. Let me know when the conference will be held in Davos, Knightsbridge, or West Palm Beach.

      Funnily enough, you’re actually onto something here. Hotel prices in Brussels are at rock bottom because the 2016 terror attacks scared a lot of people away. I don’t think it’s a coincidence they’re doing the conference over here.

  • liberalrob

    There are not enough facepalm GIFs for this conference announcement.

    The New York Times International Luxury Conference for some reason cannot be held in one of the most cosmopolitan, luxurious, and “international” cities in the world, a.k.a. New York City? We have to go to fcking Brussels to find a luxurious international city?

    And that description paragraph, at middle-right…if you’re playing Marketing Buzzword Bingo, it’s a blackout-winner:

    “In these tumultuous times, shifting paradigms are impacting business and the economy in unprecedented ways, and luxury’s decision-makers are facing challenges that will transform their industry. Amplifying the uncertainty are rapid technological evolution and the emergence of the most digitally savvy consumer segment in history. How can luxury’s pacesetters identify new opportunities in this complex environment?”


    • LeeEsq

      Brussels might be a wealthy city but its not something I’d associate with luxury. Paris, Milan, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and to an extent London are cities that I would associate with luxury.

      • Geneva. Zurich. Non-ostentatious luxury. (I know, I know, that’s not how things are done these days. Fuck’em.)

      • sonamib

        Brussels is a white flight city : it generates a lot of wealth, but the inhabitants are poor. If we count only within-Belgium migration, Brussels has been losing population since the 60s or 70s, it’s only gaining population now thanks to international migration (running the gamut from Eurocrats to working class Poles and Moroccans).

      • Robbert

        It does have a reputation for being classy though, at least here in Western Europe. Whether or not that reputation is deserved, I’ll leave up to the reader to decide. I prefer Antwerp, myself.

        • sonamib

          …really? Where exactly are you in Western Europe?

          • Robbert

            I’m from the Netherlands. Do I recall correctly that you’re a real live Belgian?

            • sonamib

              As real as it gets. Since you were kind enough to praise not one but two Belgian cities, let me praise in turn the Zeeland coast and Amsterdam, those are fun destinations for a weekend trip.

    • WeWantPie

      The only missing items are “impactful” (arguably the ugliest and most horrifying “adjective” ever coined) and some form of the verb “to disrupt.”

    • sonamib

      The trick when organizing a large conference is to find a time/place when/where hotels are cheap. That’s why so many of them happen in tourist destinations in the off season (think ski resort in fall, beach resort in winter, etc.). You have large hotels since they’re sized for the peak season, but they’re cheap because they sit mostly empty in the off season.

      Now, Brussels is not a major tourist destination (lol) and I’d be hard pressed to identify a “peak” season. Nevertheless, hotels are now cheaper than usual because of the 2016 terror attacks.

      Yes, even a “luxury” conference nickels and dimes its hotels.

    • BiloSagdiyev

      I am so sick of “uncertainty.”

    • David McWilliams

      I can’t decide if the writer was simply taking the piss or needs to be shot.

  • LeeEsq

    The Belgians don’t guillotine the rich. They perform a very literal death by chocolate execution.

    • reattmore

      I thought they force-fed the guilty party Brussels sprouts.

      • LeeEsq

        No, they want to prolong the suffering and make it ironic.

      • NewishLawyer

        I like Brussel sprouts.

      • LeeEsq

        Brussels sprouts properly roasted are very tasty.

        • DAS

          I just had some prepared that way.

        • NewishLawyer

          Especially with bacon added!

    • Unemployed_Northeastern
      • Unemployed_Northeastern

        Spoiler alert! 393 kills. Most popular is firearms at 248, but IMO the best are “bare teeth” (1 kill), “straw crusher” (1 kill), “CD Laser” (1 kill), and “Spacetime Paradox” (2 kills).

  • mirele

    Another reason why I don’t read the Times. I don’t fit into their “I have scads and scads of money to throw at useless dreck like this.”

  • TheBrett

    Hey, don’t bash luxuries. If we’re eventually going to live in Robot Socialism, I want it to be Luxury Robot Socialism.

    As for BYOG, bad news for the 21st century Girondin in your life.

  • Lurking Canadian

    And when they told the young noblewoman that the people were angry because they had no bread, she said “They should go to the Luxury Conference!”

  • kdbart

    I’m certain that CNBC will breathlessly cover it.

  • Jon Hendry

    Could be worse. A Trump could be involved.

  • Proto-Morlock

    I have your guillotine right here.


  • reattmore

    Bastille day Party on Friday! BYOG!

  • The gold standard of corporate so-call journalism trolling for money.
    Gold standard as in: poorly gold-plated turd.
    Anyone who trusts a rag that seeks money by putting on a conference like and showing their biases, well, I pity the fool.
    When the Times has descended to a level of nearly complete crap, that’s why I find the entire corporate media worthless and, indeed, harmful to the nation.
    Fuck the Times.

  • Longitudinally Enabled

    No Tyler Brûlé?!?

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